What a week we have coming up. In addition to the APRENTIS Conference at Friends University our church is also heavily involved in the Race for the Cure. Kris’s Krew is gearing up for a great weekend raising money for breast cancer research. More importantly, however, is the opportunity for celebration that this event provides. This weekend is an important milestone in Kris’s journey. It’s not too late to gang up with Kris’s Krew for the race this weekend!
The Psalms provide opportunities to lament and complain; rejoice and exult; ponder and puzzle. The Psalms address the full range of human emotion. As I think about the range of experience our small congregation has gone through recently I am grateful that we have the Psalter as a guide for our life of prayer. C.S. Lewis smartly observed, “That we should pray, what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” Praying the Psalms provides an opportunity for us to be completely present to God without ignoring the storms within.
May your time in the Psalms guide you to praying more fully and completely all that is within you.
Psalm 84 • Jeremiah 14:1-22 • Luke 18:9-14 • 2 Timothy 4:6-18
For several weeks now we have explored what it means to be the church. This coming Saturday we will continue our attempt to think deeply about the church by examining Ephesians 4. This time spent in Ephesians has been good for me and I hope that all of us are spurred on to think clearly about how God is busy forming his church, warts and all.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. – Psalm 84:5
Psalm 25 • Deuteronomy 30:9-14 • Colossians 1:1-14 • Luke 10:1-12-20
Perhaps you have wondered what church is all about. Why do we bother getting together with people at a prescribed time, sing specific songs, prayer the same prayers and say the same things week after week?
Any ideas? Let me know what you think.
Let me suggest one reason for gathering together as the church. I wish it were original with me but I’m really glad someone come up with it. It’s simple: we go to church to learn how to pray.
May this week’s Scripture references enhance your prayer life. Or, may they kick start it. Amen.
Psalm • Psalm #71
Old Testament • Jeremiah 1:4-10
Gospel • Luke 4:21-32
New Testament • I Corinthians 14:12b-20
The Old Testament reading for last week, Nehemiah 8, tells the story of Ezra having the Law read aloud for all the Israelites upon their return from exile. This public reading took place because the people, due to their exile and indifference, had forgotten what God had called them unto. The Law had been lost, literally, but Scripture had also lost its special place in the hearts of God’s people.
Different than the post-exilic Israelites, we have complete access to all of Scripture any time we want. Instead of contempt, this familiarity and ease of access has bred apathy. I am convinced that a hunger for Scripture is inspired by regular exposure. While the passages above are the reading which we will hear during our worship service this week they also provide good reflection throughout the week and good “jumping off points” for further reading.
If you want to read even more you can check out the daily readings at the following site: Daily Lectionary Reading. I haven’t used this site myself so I am looking forward to hearing what your thoughts are. May God bless your reading and your praying. Amen.
This weekend we observe and celebrate Jesus’ ascension.
Old Testament Ezekiel 1:3-28
Gospel Luke 24:45-53; Acts 1:1-11
New Testament Ephesians 1:15-23
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Ps. 19:14
Continuing the conversation helps us continue the discussion from our last worship gathering.
We have recently returned to our study of the Sermon on the Mount. This past Saturday we looked closely at the first half of the Lord’s Prayer. You might want to take a moment to review it, or recite quietly right where you are.
There are two important points to remember from Saturday night.
First, the opening phrase of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name”, serves not only as an appropriate greeting to God but also a possible deterrent to our idolatry. What do you think of the idea that we have just enough information here to know something of God’s nature (he is Father-like and his name is to always be holy) to proceed with cautious confidence in our relationship to him?
One potential danger we all face is becoming more enamored with our understanding of God than with God himself. There are repeated warnings against idolatry in both the Old and New Testaments. The fact that we live in a scientific and technologically advanced world is not a sure-fire remedy against this basic human impulse.
Second, “thy Kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” is missional to the core. God’s mission means bringing heaven and earth together. When wondering what God’s Kingdom is like we can remind ourselves that, the Kingdom looks like Jesus.